Skip to main content
8:00 am
funding for this program was provided by... joanne: infancy is a truly unique and wondrous time of life. those of us who work with babies are able to enjoy the rapid growth that occurs during the child's earliest years and form deep, affectionate bonds with each baby in our care-- bonds that we now know can impact a child for life. but sometimes, caring for infants and toddlers in a group setting can be demanding and difficult. how do we know when we are doing the right thing with our infants and toddlers? what if a baby won't stop crying? what if a toddler refuses to put on her jacket?
8:01 am
and what about those magnificent temper tantrums for which 2-year-olds are so famous? hello. i'm joanne hendrick, the author of the whole child and your guide to this video series. in this program, we're going to look at some of the important components that go into providing consistent, one-on-one relationships with infants and toddlers in group settings. we'll observe some infant and toddler programs in private child-care centers, university lab schools, and family day-care homes, and we'll hear from infant and toddler teachers who offer practical advice
8:02 am
for working with our youngest children. ready? go! joanne: despite the growing need for infant day care, most of us begin our caregiving careers with very little or no training when it comes to taking care of babies. let's check it and see if it's too hot. joanne: but you can't just wing it with infants. they're too sensitive and vulnerable for that. all ready for ya. all ready. look at zack. get him. hey, you. joanne: caring for infants requires more than a love for babies. hi. hi. you going to talk to me? can you talk to me? joanne: group care for infants requires a genuine commitment to developing special skills and knowledge. that's the one that comes in september?
8:03 am
august. august. that's right. right, ashley? you're going to be here in august. can i hold you for a minute? continuing the family legacy. joanne: it also requires a commitment to sustain caring, affectionate relationships with each baby and their family. no. no? she says no. ha ha ha! hey, how are you? you happy to be here? in a few years, you'll be sitting on that chair and singing. right? joanne: in infant day-care settings, it is the quality of our relationships that determines the quality of care. why do you think such a consistent, long-term relationship is so important to an infant's development? babies need a steady, consistent, small group of people to whom they can relate. it takes lots of time and consistent contact
8:04 am
for babies to intimately know and trust caregivers outside the family circle. in order for this kind of meaningful relationship and bonding to develop, it's especially important that our infant/toddler group sizes remain small. a small group size-- one adult to 3 or 4 infants is most frequently recommended-- ensures that we are available to satisfy each infant's needs for attention and affection, not to mention the need for routine care as feeding, bathing, and changing. woman: it's so different to work with infants and toddlers instead of preschoolers. first of all, i notice that the rhythm slows way down. you have to be much more relaxed, and you really have to be there physically,
8:05 am
so you have to feel comfortable being down on the floor a lot and being much more flexible and open to what's going to be happening during the day. you can't plan out all your activities. at the same time, you have to provide consistency for the babies. you know, you have to make sure that they're being fed regularly and changed regularly, that they have naps. but you have to be flexible about it, so it takes a certain amount of sensitivity where you're really paying attention to each baby and what they're doing, what they're interested in at that moment, how you can relate to them. are you tired now? are you tired now? are you tired? huh? huh? hi. what do you see? what do you see? [baby laughs] what do you see? joanne: babies come into the world ready for relationships. woman: you're giggling. you're giggling.
8:06 am
[baby crying] woman: rachel. joanne: they tell us how they feel and what they need through their expressions, body movements, and by cooing, babbling, and crying. [crying] joanne: crying is one of the main ways babies communicate. no matter how irritating this can be at times, we must remember that they don't cry to annoy us. they cry to tell us that they want or need something to happen-- a diaper change... a bottle... a nap... a hug. hey, buddy. hey, buddy. you see zack? hey, you. get your feet. joanne: and let's keep in mind that each baby has his own personality and style of communication.
8:07 am
this is what makes infant care so interesting. just as each baby's personality and temperament varies, so must our responses. there is no single right way to respond to all infants. woman: infants communicate in so many ways. i don't think it's just verbal, either. it's so much more. it's listening to music and singing. it's going for walks and pointing things out and showing them different things in their environment. it''s going down to the gross motor area and playing and just seeing the joy that they have on their faces and them talking to you and talking to them. it's going to the art room, even though they're infants, and just showing them around, and, um, just showing-- it's just not verbal. it's showing them their environment. i think babies need a lot of comfort and calmness. babies are going to sense your stress
8:08 am
or your hurrying through an activity, and i think if you are very calm with them, then they will be more calm. they will sense your feelings. watch amy. watch amy. joanne: routine caregiving tasks such as feeding, diaper-changing, and potty-training provide not-to-be-missed opportunities for affectionate, one-to-one contact with each little one. but this stimulation should not be overdone. too much stimulation, such as bright lights, too many children in a group, or constant noise overwhelms infants. they need an atmosphere of peace and tranquility in order to truly thrive. [quiet music playing] look. look. what's on the wall? what's on the wall, sean?
8:09 am
butterflies? see butterflies? see butterflies? see the doggy? doggy, sean? do you see the doggy, sean? joanne: let's look at the interaction in this nursery. what do you see happening here that maximizes communication between caregiver and child? okey-doke. oh, there you go. there you go. did you notice how the caregiver used a simple, routine task like diaper-changing as a time to really focus on the baby? did you notice how the infant responded to both the caregiver's chatting and actions? and did you see how carefully she allowed time for the baby to respond to her? here are some other tips for how to handle routine care in the nursery. while keeping routines reasonably predictable, let's feed, put to nap, and change our infants as needed and not as dictated solely by a schedule. hold each baby during bottle-feeding
8:10 am
rather than leave a baby sitting or lying alone to fend for himself with a propped-up bottle. cuddling babies while feeding is important because babies need to be nurtured in spirit while being nurtured in body. sanitizing measures and hand-washing are essential before and after feeding, diapering, and toileting. follow strict universal precautions, such as wearing latex gloves, when touching or handling bodily fluids. joanne: notice how this caregiver is careful to wash her hands after diapering to help prevent the spread of infection and disease. this is a vital health precaution in every child-care setting, but especially so when working with infants, who require frequent changes. speaking of illness and infection,
8:11 am
babies in group care, despite our best efforts, tend to get sick more often than they would at home. for one thing, their immunities to infectious disease are just beginning to build. also, for the first time, they are in close, intimate contact with other infants and adults, all of whom pass on germs. as caregivers of infants and toddlers, we must follow stringent health and safety measures, so let's remember to disinfect toys and surfaces on a daily basis. make sure we as well as our children wash hands frequently and establish clear illness policies which keep contagious children and adults away from the nursery. of course, we follow the universal precautions in our infant rooms. that goes from washing our hands when we come in the classroom, washing our hands after each diaper change. the toys that go in the mouth, we have what's called the hobart, which washes all the toys, and we put those aside after we notice that they've been in the mouth.
8:12 am
washing the kids' hands after each diaper change is very important. that teaches them from when they do go from the infant to toddler room. you know, that prepares them to go on. put on some soap. scrub, scrubby. scrub, scrub, scrub. woman: with the small children, we will be there and wash our hands with them if they need help, you know. i mean, we'll rub their hands. we'll make it into a game. it's like, let's see who can make the most bubbles, or, um...anything like that. so, i mean, you turn it into a game, and not-- i mean, children love water. i mean, you can't get them away from it naturally, so this time, you just add soap and they just stay a little longer and their hands get cleaned.
8:13 am
joanne: building strong relationships with each child's family is especially important during these very early years. daily communication is the foundation for a trusting relationship between us and the family. to build truly solid relationships with the children in our care, it's important to learn from the experiences, knowledge, culture, and child-rearing beliefs of the family. effective communication can be maintained through friendly, day-to-day contact during arrival and departure times, and written notes, telephone calls, and scheduled meetings help, too. tell mama to have a nice day. and then you can go play. yeah. do you want to play? joanne: just as with any age group, sooner or later, we will eventually encounter infants and toddlers with special or exceptional needs.
8:14 am
so, what do we do? and where do we start? actually, our approach to these children is pretty much the same as with the other children. our goal is, whenever we can, to meet the individual needs of every youngster. steph, can you take over so i can go to lunch? all you're going to do is keep it real close to him. ok. for children with special needs, this may involve careful supervision of daily routines, such as adapting for a child with severe allergies or using a special nipple for a child whose cleft palate is undergoing repair. the important thing to remember when working with infants or toddlers who have special needs is that we make sure we get correct medical advice or other kinds of information from knowledgeable specialists and family members. can you both work it out? no way.
8:15 am
who told you that? wah, wah, wah, wah. joanne: babies love to hear language and to respond by cooing, babbling, and making sounds that gradually resemble adult speech. [crying] really? it was that rough, huh? and what hurt? did your tummy hurt, or did your ear hurt? joanne: throughout the first two years, children are attaching meaning to words and understanding a lot more than they can say. so the more attention we pay to our children's speech, the more we can understand, repeat, and use words from their own language. try this one. no. no? no. mine. [squeals] what do you say to charlie? say, "mine. that's mine." joanne: we can also give them new words to expand their language, thus giving them a richer, more expressive vocabulary to use later on. woman: how about...
8:16 am
oh, wow, charlie. thanks a lot. [toy jingling] joanne: young infants need many opportunities to explore their world through the senses of sight, sound, smell, and touch. [waltzing matilda playing] this includes stacking and nesting toys, objects they can put in and out of boxes, and push/pull toys to encourage walking. as infants develop and begin to crawl and then walk, they seem to get into everything. that's why a safe environment is so essential. from the child's perspective, if it's in view, it's interesting, and if it's in reach, it will be investigated.
8:17 am
so let's remember to keep all medicines and cleaning supplies in locked cabinets, keep electrical outlets covered, keep small objects out of reach, and conduct daily indoor and outdoor safety inspections. i think one good rule of thumb is--it sounds strange, but actually get on the level of, maybe, a baby that is crawling and look and see because it's very different. you don't think about things until you're down there, so then when you're on that level, you're going to see more things, such as cupboards-- making sure that all cleaning supplies are out of reach or locked. the safety locks on doors are a very good thing. think about corners for tables. are the corners rounded so that they're not going to bump their heads?
8:18 am
think about stairs. are the stairs padded? are the stairs low? are they safe? you might want to just eliminate that altogether, always having a gate for a long flight of stairs and making sure that gate is secure. i know some child-care centers such as ours have a door that leads to stairs, so you need to make sure that signs are posted that that door remain shut. and think about where the door handle is, that it's out of the child's reach and/or there's a safety handle on that door. woman: what's this? no! joanne: toddlers spend a lot of their time concerned with who they are and with who's in charge. independence, self-assertion, and control--or the lack of it-- are central issues at this young and tender age. a toddler's day often involves conflict, most often in the form of what's mine and what's yours.
8:19 am
they seem driven to want to have their own way. let's keep in mind that when a toddler wants something, he typically wants it intensely and immediately. that's the way toddlers are. no! no! no! no! joanne: but we can help reduce the amount of conflict by looking at our program through the child's eyes. are there enough materials and equipment to go around? does each child have enough time and space to fully explore? are there many small, appropriate opportunities for him to make choices and decisions? opportunities such as-- do you want an orange or a banana for a snack? when toddlers don't get what they want, tempers often flare, emotions run high, and frequently, the situation ends up out of control. tell him it's your grocery cart. my--my grocery. dale. dale. you know what, dale? there's one over here.
8:20 am
joanne: children can be frightened by the violence of their own feelings and actions, and they rely on us to remain calm. we can help our toddlers work through problems if we remember to stay calm. in simple language, say what the limits are and what will happen if the rules are not followed. get down to the children's level and maintain eye contact. let them know you're there to help them work through those intense feelings. don't preach. avoid long lectures, but make sure each child is kept out of harm's way. offer many simple opportunities for appropriate choices, and use distraction when possible by offering substitute toys or activities. it looks like zack still wants to use it, chuck. zack still wants to use it, chuck. i want to share it. well, it doesn't look like he wants to share it, and you have this great cart right here with mr. bunny in it.
8:21 am
what can we use this for, though? let's see. let me take a look at this and see what this is for. what could we use this for? look at this, chuck. what could we use that for? feel that. do you feel what that feels like? did you feel that, chuck? what's that feel like? we'll take these out. we should take them out? ok. well, you know what, friends? you have to let go of this to take them out. we're just going to take these out. ok. you let go, you let go, and let's take these out. how can we get those out of that bucket? we could dump them. we could dump them. no. no! [screaming] shh! listen. use your words. emilio, come here. don't touch it. he's going to pick it up. you need to listen to his words, and you need-- he's going to pick it up. you need to pick it up, please, right now. pick it all up. pick it up. pick up all the things that were in the basket right now, please.
8:22 am
all right? have you used your words yet? patty: when a toddler is completely throwing a tantrum and refuses to listen-- say it's putting on your jacket to go outside-- again, this is where the importance of a relationship and paying attention to each individual child comes into play, because you have to quickly assess, in the heat of this battle, what the appropriate response is. for some children, you just leave them alone and ignore them. you make sure they're away from the other children. you put them in a safe space and you say, "ok. right now you are not cooperating, "so you can't go outside right now. when you're ready to come back and talk to me, you let me know." and you don't go too far away. you don't want to be punitive about it. and also, it's very scary for a toddler to lose control of their emotions, so you have to be supportive, too, without caving in, and so, again, it just takes very simple statements.
8:23 am
"you can't go outside until you've put your jacket on," or, "i can't let you hurt the other children. you'll have to stay here until you're ready to play safely." and you just repeat it calmly down at their level. look them in the eye. let them know you're there for them, and you keep repeating it. also, redirection helps a lot. try and find something else that they can get engaged in so they forget about the power struggle that they want to have with you. joanne: providing quality care for infants and toddlers is no easy task. let's review some of the key points we've covered on this program to help ease the way. we've learned...1--sustained, consistent, caring relationships are critical between caregiver and child. 2--it's especially important that our infant/toddler group sizes remain small so we are available to satisfy each infant's needs. 3--routine caregiving tasks
8:24 am
such as feeding, diaper-changing, and potty-training provide excellent opportunities for verbal and nonverbal communication as well as for individualized attention for each child. 4--daily communication with family members is essential. 5--we can help reduce the amount of conflict with our toddlers by making sure there are enough materials and equipment to go around and that we provide many opportunities for children to assert themselves by making simple choices. 6--when toddlers begin to lose control, keep yours. stay calm. 7--in simple language, say what the limits are and what will happen if the rules are not followed. the hallmarks of good infant care are really quite simple and basic. our job is to help instill a sense of trust, safety, and comfort in our infants and toddlers
8:25 am
by responding with affection and respect to the needs and wants of each individual child in our care. if we can do that, then we can leave work each day knowing that we've given our infants and toddlers a wonderful foundation and head start as they set out on their journey to becoming a whole child. i'm joanne hendrick. see you next time on the whole child. woman: knowing what a young child is feeling is not always easy. no matter what parents or other caregivers do, sometimes children still feel sad, anxious, or angry. helping children cope while they are dealing with feelings, next time on the whole child. captioning performed by the national captioning institute, inc.
8:26 am
funding for this program was provided by...
8:27 am
8:28 am
8:29 am
8:30 am
funding for this program was provided by... joanne hendrick: isn't it wonderful when our day begins with such cheerful smiles and happy faces? and don't we wish it could always be like this? but in order for that to happen, we must remember thatt takes a lot of patience combined with good judgment and warm, nurturing relationships to raise emotionally healthy, comfortable, and cheerful children. of course, some days are going to be better than others and some even worse. it's just a fact. no matter what we do, children are still going to feel sad, afraid, anxious, and angry
8:31 am
from time to time. it's all part of growing up and learning to cope with their feelings. hello. i'm joanne hendrick, the author of the whole child and your host for this series. on this program, our focus is emotional health, and our challenge is to learn how to help children cope with their feelings and express them in socially acceptable ways-- ways that don't harm others and that are appropriate to the child's age and abilities-- ways that contribute to building the child's emotional health.
8:32 am
[child crying] hendrick: we don't have to be psychiatrists to foster mental health in children... or in anyone else, for that matter. what it's really about is relationships. give me another kiss. give her a kiss. bye-bye. mama's going to come back later, ok? say "bye, ma." ok. shh. is that mama's car, or did she park in the parking lot? i think she already went to work. yeah. hendrick: genes and their contribution to temperament are important, too, but we can't do anything about them, so we might as well concentrate on what we can do something about, and that's the relationship between us and the children we care for. why do you think that is so important? are your tears all gone? yeah. ok. come on. teacher: you're going to make a picture for mommy? ok. come on. i'll sit with you. here. we'll use this piece of paper.
8:33 am
you're going to take care of her for me, jacqueline? do you want to see if she wants to make a picture with you? here. what picture would you like to do? you're just being shy today, aren't you? hendrick: without trust, it's impossible to feel safe or close or comfortable with someone. teacher: who do you think is going to show up next? come here, baby. zack, come on. oh! ho ho! yay! look at you. hendrick: our need to experience trust and have it reaffirmed remains with us throughout our lives, but the basic balance between trust and mistrust is tipped very early in favor of one attitude or the other. zack, i'm so proud of you. what a big boy you are. uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh. [crying] oh.
8:34 am
hendrick: trust has its roots in infancy when bies gain confidence that they can depend on the grownups around them to meet their basic needs. [crying] hendrick: that's why demand feeding is so important. the baby finds out that when he's feeling miserable, he can count on someone to help him feel better without having to wait an eternity for warmth and comfort. you're frightened, huh? it's ok. are you getting hungry? ok. hendrick: from a baby's perspective, reasonably prompt and consistent care is an essential ingredient in developing trust. babies wonder...when we are hungry, can we count on someone to feed us? [crying] woman: you're scared. come here. it's ok. hendrick: when we are upset and start to cry, will someone be there to comfort us?'s ok. hey, baby. hey, baby girl.
8:35 am
hendrick: when we are wet, is someone there to change us? what are you smiling about, huh? hendrick: when the answer to these questions are yes, babies develop trust, confidence... confidence that others will help them when they need help and trust in themselves, as well-- confidence they can get what they want when they need it. this helps them feel valued and important. there we go, huh? although the need to experience trust begins in infancy, it remains with us all our lives, so the next thing to think about is how we can maintain that wonderful, trustful feeling as children continue to grow. what can we do to help build trust in our children? what kind of opportunities do you think we can provide? one of the easiest ways to build trust is by maintaining an orderly routine to the day so the children can predict what's going to happen next. consistent rules and policies that children understand
8:36 am
also adds to their sense of trust, and the same thing goes for our behavior. thank you, baby. i don't want to go potty. i don't want to wash my hands. look. you need to wash your hands, ok? do you want someone to help you? hendrick: predictability is the key. when we maintain our self-control and don't fly off the handle too readily, we encourage the children to trust us. the children can predict what our responses will be, and this breeds confidence in the relationship and keeps them from feeling too anxious. teacher: i just told you. this is it. teacher: no. it's all gone. thank you, big girl, for being my good listener. thank you. teacher: stevie jay, books are for reading. do you remember? girl: this one. teacher: ok. just one moment. hendrick: what else do you think would work? children will feel more confident with us if they know we don't expect too much or too little from them.
8:37 am
it's so important to remember that rules and tasks should be appropriate for the child's age and abilities. for example, with 2-year-olds, it's best to stick to simple rules and immediate consequences and save those longer discussions and multiple choices to use with the 4s and 5s. clean up. right. clean up, please. teacher, voice-over: when the children come into school, they need the sense of security that a routine gives them. they know they're going to have snack next and then it will be their chance to choose their own toys and then it will be group time. i think one of the most important things i do to foster mental health is create a very warm and nurturing environment in my classroom. i feel one of my primary goals is to make the children stay very happy and for the children to, you know,
8:38 am
have a very positive feeling about school. what do you need? we got to cook that cheese. cook it? teacher, voice-over: we like the children to come in, and they let me know what they need. they let me know-- "i want to read a book today. i want to paint today." they're making their decisions. this is making them a healthy person. a child that has the opportunity to explore their environment, a child that has the opportunity to make mistakes and not be criticized for them, a child that has the opportunity to investigate, to label, to be creative... which is what we hope we offer. child: they're coming this way. yikes! good morning, miss marty. hi, buddy. give miss marty a hug. how are you? how's ryan coming along? really well. he's doing great. he had a real good day yesterday. very good. yes. right? and today we're talking about the color yellow.
8:39 am
hendrick: there is one more kind of trust we must pay attention to. that's the trust that should exist between ourselves and the families of the children we care for. remember? what does the red say? i'll guide you. you have to wheel yourself. ha ha ha! woman: you better follow me, girl. follow yvonne. hendrick: this connection, this bond, is vitally important for all the children but especially important for families with children who have disabilities. we must never underestimate their special sensitivities and concerns. we must honor those feelings not only by being kind and encouraging, but also by being truthful about their child's abilities. child: i'm here. teacher: oh, hold on. don't come in front of the swing. child: i'm not in the front of the swing. teacher: excuse me. you're right in the front of the swing. let's go this way. this way, this way. girl: he's right in the front of the swing.
8:40 am
hendrick: i really admire people who live with and teach 2-year-olds. 2-year-olds are so different from those smiley, cuddly infants and triumphant beginning walkers. suddenly the toddler is transformed into an assertive, willful 2-year-old. we just have to remind ourselves that this drive toward independence and self-assertion is an important stage of emotional development. granted, living in the 2-year-old world of "mine" and "no" and "me do it" isn't easy. it takes a lot of patience to maintain limits when necessary and independence when that's possible. teacher: you're not ready yet, huh? no. well, i can wait a few minutes. you might miss snack, though. come on out withour power saw so i can see where your body is, ok? hendrick: it's like waing on a tightrope you don't want to crush their spirits, but you don't want to live with a tyrant either.
8:41 am
it's kind of a balancing act of avoiding confrontations when you can, insisting on doing things your way when that's necessary, and providing as many choices for the child to make as possible. put it up there. you decided. there you go. child: so no one take it. ok. no one will take it. child: i had 2 muffins. 2 muffins? is that why you're not very hungry today? hmm? do you want more corn? hendrick: if we just think about it a little, there are lots of choices that can be offered, even to 2- or 3-year-olds, but remember, these are limited choices, not "do you want to put on a sweater?" but "which sweater?" not "do you want to have snack?" but "where do you want to sit for snack?" teacher: jordan, where would you like to go first today? hendrick: this is why self-selection of activities is such a valuable par of the preschool day. teacher: want me to tell you the choices again? we're going to look at seeds in this room. hendrick: when children are expected to choose for themselves what they want to do, they have endless opportunities for making decisions
8:42 am
that are age-appropriate and that allow them to exercise that independence that matters so much to them at that age. teacher: what would you like to do? hendrick: 4- and 5-year-olds especially need to reach out to the world and become more connected to their groups. they want to investigate things, make plans, and carry them out. my turn! [computer beeping] my turn. after you, can i have a turn? you already had a turn. well, you were going to have another turn after me. hendrick: learning to take this initiative becomes the next step in their emotional development. what kinds of things can we do to help them take that step? [children laughing] we want to encourage them to seize that initiative and think things up, try things out, and enjoy the emotional satisfactions that come from the delightful experience of exploring and doing things with their friends.
8:43 am
another way to think about giving choices is to consider what happens when children don't have those opportunities. what happens when we create a climate that minimizes or takes away the chance to make decisions? in a spirited child, this can lead to struggle after struggle. in less spirited ones, it can produce feelings of inadequacy and loss of self-confidenc. in extreme cases, it can even lead to a feeling of hopelessness. teacher: ok. where are you working at? what area? hendrick: by allowing children to make their own choices and decisions and be responsible for their own outcomes, we're setting the framework for strong, emotionally healthy lives. will you please push her? all right. well, you know what? is that something we climb? yes or no? no. because why not? is it safe for us to climb on there? no. if you want to climb, there's a climber right over there that you can climb on or down there. hendrick: but let's rember that not everything is a choice. part of becoming a mentally healthy person
8:44 am
is learning how to accept that reality, too. sometimes the answer is just plain "no." but learning how to cope with disappointments, delays, and setbacks is another critical part of developing healthy, balanced attitudes. still, a little prevention can go a long way toward satisfying a child's needs while, at the same time, reducing the level and number of disappointments and frustrations. so what can we do to make you feel better? i want to go ask him. ok. i'll watch your bike while you go ask him one more time. try some nice words, though. hendrick: for example, it's a good policy to make sure there are duplicates of their favorite toys and games. when it's snack time, it helps to have the food ready to serve when the children are seated, and it's very important to make as few demands as possible when you sense they're tired or hungry. such advanced planning means less frustration for you
8:45 am
and for them. teacher: no rice? pass it down to valadia, please. hendrick: of course, nobody's perfect, and it's impossible to handle every situation perfectly. children are more resilient than we give them credit for being. if our relationship with them is basically warm, steady, and fair, we will all survive occasional mistakes. don't be unduly hesitant about handling difficult situations. if you feel things are slipping out of control, wait a minute, take a breath, tell the child you need time to think, and then return to the action. one of the most valuable skills we can give our children is how to express strong emotions without hurting themselves or others or damaging property. but how can we do that? how can we teach them to talk about feelings instead of impulsively acting them out? right here! no! i don't want to!
8:46 am
hendrick: what we want our children to learn is... we can begin by communicating with the child in a nonjudgmental way, showing her we understand how she feels. this kind of understanding requires us to get down to the child's level, eye to eye, and listen intently, not just hearing the words, but sensing what the child's body is telling us, too. teacher: ok. marley, can joel have a turn when you're finished? he throwed me down, and he grabbed it from me. teacher: uh-oh. did you grab it from jessica? we ask. we say, "may i have it, please?" we don't take it from her. that's ok. [boy crying] oh, i know it feels bad, but you wait. wait for your turn. hendrick: then we have to teach the child how to communicate those feelings to others. perhaps he's angry or feeling sad because someone won't let him play,
8:47 am
or perhaps he wants something so badly, he can't wait another minute for it. whatever the cause, the first thing to do is to put those feelings into words. name that feeling. sometimes children can pick up on this advice, and sometimes they can't. when that's the case, the next thing to do is model it. say the sentence out loud so the child can see how to do it. say something like, "i really would like to sock you, i'm so mad at you. i had it first. you give it back right now." or "i want that lion real badly." after that recognition and expression of feeling, then it's time to go on and suggest some ways of helping the child get what she wants in a less emotionally charged way. let's recap what we've learned about responding to situations involving strong emotions. first, teach the child... feel what you want, but control what you do. this kind of understanding requires us to get down to the child's level,
8:48 am
eye to eye, and listen intently. encourage the child to say the feelings out loud and to tell the other person how he feels. name that feeling. if the child is too young or inexperienced to know what to say, model a simple sentence for him to copy. finally... do whatever else is necessary to resolve the situation. teacher: what do you say to charlie? say, "mine. that's mine." yeah. she's really sad, charlie. i'm worried about that. teacher, voice-over: in this classroom, i prefer the children to use words. in fact, we encourage them. we do a lot of encouragement because if they do all this hollering and stomping, we don't know why they're doing that. and i have one in particular in the afternoon--a little boy-- and when he can't have his way or if he wants a particular toy that somebody else is using, he does the stomping of the feet,
8:49 am
he does the hollering and the yelling, and we will go to that child and say, "what is it that you want? "why are you doing all this hollering? tell me the reason." and he'll just sort of look at you and, um... i says, "i need some words because if you do all this hollering and screaming, "miss garcia does not know what you want, "nor does miss washington, nor do the other children. "so if you don't tell us what you want, we'll never know." so we encourage a lot of verbal expression, and then they sort of stop the hollering, they stop the screaming, and once they come up with the words, they seem to calm themselves down, too. children aren't the only ones who lose their tempers, of course. we do, too. the question is, how do you handle your anger? the first thing to remember is that the same rules that apply to children also apply to us: feel what you want, but control what you do.
8:50 am
we might as well admit it. you can't fool children by denying you're upset or angry or frightened, for that matter. they always know. even babies know. so it's better to be up-front and simply admit it. of course, this doesn't give us license to lose our temper or explode or show physical anger to our children. such reactions will only scare young children. teacher: there. jessica's covering hers up. hendrick: so far, we've covered some of the basic skills that help promote mental health. now let's look at some signs that a child is doing all right. is the child working on emotional tasks that are appropriate for his age or ability? teacher: see what happens when you're pulling the toys away from your friend? is that yours? hendrick: for example, if he's 2 1/2, is he asserting himself from time to time? teacher: here. take the yellow one. hendrick: and if he's 4, is he interested in the larger world around him?
8:51 am
teacher: oh, is she kissing? ok. give me a kiss and a hug and give nick a kiss. oh...ok. say "see you." hendrick: is the child able to separate from the family without undue stress and form an attachment with at least one other adult at school? of course, this takes time. comfortable separation isn't something we expect to happen overnight, and it tends to be harder for younger children or children who are developmentally delayed. teacher: asan, put this on the table. take that to your table. both hands. right here. you're going to slice that one. slice it up. hendrick: is the child learning to conform to routines at school without undue fuss? once again, a certain amount of testing-- mostly by 4-year-olds-- and balkiness-- mostly by 2s-- is par for the course. but healthy children don't make a career out of doing this.
8:52 am
teacher: i'm thirsty, too. yes, i am. here's his cup. hendrick: is the child able to involve herself deeply in play? play is not only the work of children; it's the greatest health promoter and vehicle for learning that's available to them. you have to eat two first. teacher: we have to eat two first? teacher and child: lion... zebra... child: i saw that. hendrick: can the child settle down and concentrate? being able to focus attention on something that interests a youngster is a good indicator he's doing well because it means he's capable of learning. unless you can focus, you don't have time to take things in and to think about them. teacher: in the zoo? child: yeah. teacher: wow. what are those? rhinoceros? different teacher: chardonne, you need to use your words. that's not ok. that's not ok! hendrick: and finally, does the child have access
8:53 am
to the full range of her feelings, and is she learning to deal with them in an age-appropriate way? this is one of the most important indicators of emotional health because it's only when the child is aware of all her feelings and can express them without harming herself or others that she is truly a whole child. child: no. no! you got to share. you got to share. teacher: you have to share. he's going to mess up my horsy! hendrick: when children seem to have special difficulties, we need to remember we don't have to solve every emotional problem that comes up by ourselves. when feeling puzzled, get some help. no! you'll mess up my horsy! i'm sorry. i didn't mean to mess up your horsy. hendrick: it's so important to communicate with the child, with the family, and with our peers.
8:54 am
communication is the key to sound mental health-- the child's and for us, too. let's briefly review the building blocks of sound mental health in children. we've learned that more than anything, young people look to us for consistent, dependable, trustworthy relationships. children feel the most comfortable when it feels like everything is under control. that's why it's so important to have orderly routines in our classrooms with consistent rules and policies. children need opportunities to think for themselves and, whenever possible, be able to make their own choices. and finally... young people, like the rest of us, need to be able to express their feelings in a safe and appropriate manner. taking care of children can be an awesome responsibility, but let's not let our fear of making mistakes hold us hostage. we all make mistakes. real learning is about recognizing them
8:55 am
and discovering new ways to take a more effective, successful approach next time. and trust me, there will always be a next time. let's be patient with our children. but while we're at it, let's consider our own mental health. let's be patient and forgiving with ourselves. see you next time on the whole child. great things can happen when children feel good about themselves, but it takes an adult to help create those feelings. how to develop self-esteem so a child can say, "i'm glad i'm me"... next time on the whole child. find the yellow paint and make yellow stars over here. i was talking to him. she wasn't finish with that, ok? so what do we need to do? will you let marley finish her turn, please? would you like a turn with the bike?
8:56 am
ok. marley, can joel have a turn when you're finished? girl: can you push me all the way to gavin? all the way to gavin? i suppose. where is gavin at? funding for this program was provided by...
8:57 am
8:58 am
8:59 am

Democracy Now
LINKTV February 4, 2013 8:00am-9:00am PST

News/Business. Independent global news hour featuring news headlines, in depth interviews and investigative reports. (CC) (Stereo)


TOPIC FREQUENCY Hendrick 20, Joanne Hendrick 4, Wah 4, Chuck 4, Charlie 4, Mama 3, Sean 3, Joanne 3, Ha Ha Ha 2, Jessica 2, Babbling 2, Marley 2, Amy 2, Dependable 1, Chardonne 1, Washington 1, Valadia 1, Nap 1, Gavin 1, Bathing 1
Network LINKTV
Duration 01:00:00
Rating PG
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 24 (225 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 544
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
In Collection
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 2/4/2013